Air pollution above average in 41% UK schools

Two-fifths of children heading back to school this September face high levels of polluting gases that can cause asthma and lung inflammation

Pathway to COP26 report

Air pollution levels in 41% of British schools is higher than the WHO deem acceptable.

That is according to a study conducted by Airly, that found nitrogen dioxide levels to be worryingly high as children return to schools this month.

Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant gas produced by road traffic and heavy industry, that increases the risk of asthma and inflammation of the airways.

The study reveals that during the pandemic, air quality around schools plateaued at a safer level but in the last year levels have hiked again. The authors state this as key evidence to show that human activity affects our health, pollution and air.

The research also intimates that air pollution not only impacts general health but also learning ability; harming cognitive intelligence in children.

A map of the affected areas of the UK demonstrated a trend of more deprived areas having heavier air pollution due to lack of green urban areas, older cars and dense housing populations.

London ranked the worst for bad air in Britain.

Airly has launched a campaign to tackle this, providing 50 air quality sensors to schools across the country to monitor the surrounding pollution and after six months of reports, be advised on the best means to improve it.

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast